Trans Mountain Clean Recap

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by Erica Rocha

Thank you to all who participated in the El Paso Transmountain Cleanup Event this past Saturday.  The community’s response was remarkable!

There were 135 volunteers that signed in, plus a bus full of students from America’s High School that were not on the main Highway, but did clean a hiking trail and 6 Constables and deputies keeping us safe.  Not to mention the dozens if not hundreds of commuters who drove over the mountain and were faced with a sea of orange vests.  Without a doubt the sight left them curious.  Some cyclist and hikers that ran into some of the groups stopped to ask what was going on.  When informed that there was a huge community cleanup they put in their part and brought trash over to the volunteers.

Volunteers went to great lengths to show up or drop off participants despite the frigid temperature.  One volunteer rode his bike up the 5 mile ascent to be able to join the cause.  Others organized entire groups of children and youth with parental consent, rides, pick-ups and drop-offs to ensure their participation.

The energy was palpable.  Good cheer and incredible willingness to help in any area where there was need was seen throughout the entire event.  There were volunteers who used their own vehicles to bring trash bags back to the meeting site and others that made round after round in their pickup trucks collecting heavier, bagful of trash as well as other large debris.  When trash bags ran out, volunteers didn’t stop, they waited until more were brought and continued to pick up trash.

In all, the 10 miles stretch between I-10 and US 54 was covered, over 100 bags of trash collected, including larger rubble such as 2 orange construction barrels, car bumpers, sofas cushions, ladders, tires, and other very strange garbage was picked up.

Albertson’s on Redd, Wal-Mart at West Town and Sam’s on Mesa provided a generous amount of snacks and drinks; TxDot provided vests, trash bags and picked up the pile of trash collected and disposed of it.  Also, Franklin State Park granted us permission to host this cleanup.

Through it all, the true heroes of the event were every individual, every couple, and every group small or large who made this event possible; and most importantly delivered greater results than I could have ever imagined.

I hope that the impact of this event reaches beyond those who took part in the cleanup.  I hope that there is an infectious spirit of pride spread among your friends and family.  Although it is a shame that we have to pick up other’s trash, it is truly inspiring to see so many good willed people of all ages come together to leave nature and our city a cleaner and better place.

Below is a small list of groups we were able to confirm participated in one form or another:

Ft. Bliss Soldiers, West Texas Young Marines, Girl Scouts Troop 53020, El Paso Eastside Rotary Club, El Paso Executive Women Lion’s Club, America’s High School, Creosote, Sierra Club, Frontera Land Alliance, Franklin Mountain Wilderness Coalition, Celebration of Our Mountains, Constables, Sergeants and Deputies of Precincts 2, 3 and 7, Franklin Mountain Life, Meet Up EP Hikers,  and Border Patrol Explorers.

 

THE WALL…once more, with feeling!

by Laurence Gibson, Executive Committee Chair

Check out these El Paso Sierra Club Group Loryx newsletter headlines from the past:

April 2008
BorderFence Opposed
In dramatic fashion the El Paso City Council refused to have anything to do with federal plans to build new spans of 18-foot high fencing along the border through El Paso.

May 2008
Fence Threatens Rio Bosque
Homeland Security is waiving environmental regulations to hurriedly build over 600 miles of fence in 2008.

Why is it that one of the safest cities in the USA should have to put up with this kind of interference from the feds? It isn’t as though our local lawmakers have not spoken out and protested long and hard.

I do find it interesting that 10 years ago it was a fence and now it’s a wall. Perhaps it really is just a “man thing.”This is one of those times when local control would be a really good thing. Anyway, my buddy who owns a welding supply is licking his chops at making another fortune selling machines and helmets and, and so on. I keep telling folks we already have our wall.

The Border Network for Human Rights, BNHR, founded in 1998, is one of the leading human rights advocacy and immigration reform organizations located at the U.S./Mexico Border. BNHR has over 7,000 members in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.
On Saturday, January 26 at noon, BNHR and border families held a massive mobilization protesting the border wall and advocating for a Humane Immigration Reform.

The mobilization will started at San Jacinto Plaza, stopping at the Santa Fe International Port of Entry to denounce Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy and ending in Chihuahuita with a rally and demonstration near the site of ongoing border wall construction.

In Chihuahuita, marchers denounced construction of Trump’s Border Wall and militarization of our region, calling instead for a humane and inclusive immigration reform that protects and integrates Dreamers, TPS beneficiaries, domestic violence victims, and the millions of undocumented Americans who live and work in these United States.